Our mission as a collective is to create an urban-industrial aesthetic by combining graffiti, photography, screen-printing and graphic design. Using elements of our everyday lives and personal histories, we try to create challenging and inviting environments which individuals can be drawn into and relate to in various ways. Each work of art we create tells the story of our lives, our struggles, and our surroundings. We seek to inspire respect and tolerance through our creative endeavors, but especially hope that we can reach the youth of the world, so that that they are encouraged to make good choices, stay in school, attain their creative dreams and to hopefully pick up where we leave off.
Teamed together through the art of graffiti, Mike Baca (aka 2ESAE) and Fernando Romero (aka SKI) joined forces in 2006 with the noble intention of learning and growing as artists by living and working together. Prior to the thought of ever making a living from creating art, they literally forced people to view their work around the city – illegally – by spending years painting in the streets and subways, suffering the repercussions of the criminal justice system, until they eventually decided to turn their own lives around and do something positive with their talents. They formed the illustrious collective, now known as UR New York.
UR New York has put together some 50 shows and events in the U.S. and around the world and is deeply committed to keep their work tied to the community and society at large. Their ideology is based on the philosophy of “creation through destruction”, transforming the sometimes tough and negative perceptions of street graffiti into positive urban-industrial art. Both Mike and Fernando are New York born and bred artists who primarily began making art on the streets and in the subway system of the city long before ever touching a canvas. Each brings to the table, not only a long history of graffiti experience, but diverse styles, tools, and artistic elements that they implement and blend into their wildly creative, collaborative process, combining photography, painting, screen printing, graphic design, illustration, metal oxidation, and collage to their works.
The art of UR New York speaks to people of all ages, color and cultures. Collectively, they have showcased their work in many venues and arenas in the U.S. and internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, VH1, Sundance Film Festival, and the TV show “Californication”. They have shown their work and done installations and murals in Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Israel, Italy, and Spain amongst others.
UR New York has become a permanent fixture in SoHo, beginning in 2006 with Mike and Fernando selling their works on the corner of Greene and Prince Streets. The jump to West Broadway, with full gallery representation at POP International Galleries was a logical step for them, as their exciting art is now available and accessible to a much broader audience of collectors around the globe.
Aside from creating and selling art, we take time off to give back to our community. We do motivational speaking at elementary and high schools in places such as East Tremont in the Bronx, West Orange in New Jersey, and Bushwick in Brooklyn. We tell our stories to the children of neighborhoods, hoping to inspire and support their artistic dreams. As a collective, we strive to work together creating, showcasing and educating the world about our world.
~ 2ESAE (Mike Baca)